Vitals Blending fierce fast plots with vivid characters and mind bending ideas Greg Bear has mastered a powerful alchemy of suspense science and action in his gripping thrillers Darwin s Radio was hailed

  • Title: Vitals
  • Author: Greg Bear
  • ISBN: 9780345423344
  • Page: 392
  • Format: Paperback
  • Blending fierce, fast plots with vivid characters and mind bending ideas, Greg Bear has mastered a powerful alchemy of suspense, science, and action in his gripping thrillers Darwin s Radio was hailed across the country as one of the best books of the year His newest novel, Vitals, begins with a harrowing descent to a netherworld at the very bottom of the sea and then exBlending fierce, fast plots with vivid characters and mind bending ideas, Greg Bear has mastered a powerful alchemy of suspense, science, and action in his gripping thrillers Darwin s Radio was hailed across the country as one of the best books of the year His newest novel, Vitals, begins with a harrowing descent to a netherworld at the very bottom of the sea and then explodes to the surface in sheer terror.Hal Cousins is one of a handful of scientists nearing the most sought after discovery in human history the key to short circuiting the aging process Fueled by a wealth of research, an overdose of self confidence, and the money of influential patrons to whom he makes outrageous promises, Hal experiments with organisms living in the hot thermal plumes in the ocean depths But as he journeys beneath the sea, his other world is falling apart.Across the country, scientists are being inexplicably murdered including Hal s identical twin brother, who is also working to unlock the key to immortality Hal himself barely eludes a cold blooded attack at sea, and when he returns home to Seattle, he finds himself walking into an eerie realm where voices speak to him from the dead where a once brilliant historian turned crackpot is leading him on a deadly game of hide and seek and where the beautiful, rich widow of his twin is than willing to pick up the pieces of Hal s life and take him places he s never been before.Suddenly Hal is trapped inside an ever twisting maze of shocking revelations For he is not the first person to come close to ending aging forever and those who came before him will stop at nothing to keep the secret to themselves Now every person on earth is at risk of being made an unsuspecting player in one man s spectacular and horrifying master plan.From the bottom of Russia s Lake Baikal to a billionaire s bionic house built into the cliffs of the Washington seashore, from the darkest days of World War II and the reign of Josef Stalin to the capitalist free for all that is the United States, Vitals tells an astounding tale of the most unimaginable scientific secret of all exposed by the quest for immortality itself .From the Hardcover edition.

    One thought on “Vitals”

    1. In this one, Greg Bear has kind of abandoned the ideas for the thrill of the chase. It's much more technothriller than science fiction, although I suppose the science is enough out there it could sort of qualify. But it's the speed at which everything happens, the plot racing by too fast for there to be real consideration of the ideas, that I find a pity. I know he can do better, and I'd much prefer a novel of ideas.Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in policy a [...]

    2. In this book, bacteria cause aging and are used for mind control!This is why I hate Greg Bear: he perverts science fiction.He's forcing nature to fit in his weirdo fantasy world.This makes for especially poor science fiction.The end is confusing and vague.Why do I punish myself by reading Greg Bear's books?

    3. As a huge fan of Greg Bear's various wonders of the universe, but I found this to be very dull and disappointing. I love science fiction that is grounded in biology, and Greg Bear has some fantastic biology-driven novels: Blood Music is my favorite, but see also Darwin's Radio, Legacy, and Hull Zero Three. Even in books that aren't primarily premised in biology, Greg Bear's biological references are usually well crafted and imaginative, and confer richness to the world of the book as well as dep [...]

    4. This is a thriller set in a slightly more capable present-day setting. The best part of the book was recognizing one location after another in Seattle, Palo Alto and Berkeley. The book sets and keeps a fast pace. ***Spoiler alert*** now as I talk about what I didn't like. It became horribly grating as each female character turned out to be one dimensional and untrustworthy. Sure, the book is about biologically induced paranoia and unreliable behavior, so there's some plot justification for every [...]

    5. Picked the book because I had heard the author was good. While the style was decent, and the readability good, the story itself was poor. It had a decent core premise, the engineering of bacterial strains released through the population which could later be triggered. Unfortunately, it failed to stop or at least reign itself in somewhere within the realm of possibility, and instead went completely off the deep end.If the writer had managed to at least try to tie together the loose ends at the en [...]

    6. Plot summary: A bunch of people are searching for the secret tot immortality, but living for a REALLY long time bacteria. Only then there's a big conspiracy, and they're running for their lives.Thoughts: Look, it sounds really interesting. And when it starts with being in a mini-sub heading for the bottom of the ocean, it SEEMS really interesting. But then random people started going crazy, and they were on the run, and there was this whole 20th century Russian history thing going on, and I just [...]

    7. It's hard to stomach all the poor reviews of Greg Bear, especially for this book which is really great. I've found his angle on science fiction to be acutely amazing and convincing; probably closer to reality than most readers will admit. I guess he is just way over the heads of readers of typical sci-fi scenarios. With Bear, the science is not just a dumb prop or setting to write more crap, it's actually where the crux of the whole plot is centered. The fantasy is in thinking that the science j [...]

    8. This one's good. What disheartened me was how Bear tried to put in so many great ideas, but left them behind as he tried to shift from being a really-good-sci-fi-book to a lousy-thriller-trash.Still, this will not hinder me from picking up his other works.

    9. If I could give this book 5.5 stars I would. It's a lot like Darwin's radio but less dense. It has the same technomedical sci-fi slant but you could easily finish it in a few days. Instead of discussing human evolution, Bear using genetics as a weapon for espionage and a great freaking story.

    10. Ok, I didnt get as far as finishing this book. While the idea was ok in theory, I found the execution dull and lacking in real emotion.

    11. Vitals sets itself up as a novel about a scientist researching how to extend life through the use of certain bacteria, which is an interesting enough premise. Unfortunately, the book turned out to be a complete and utter mess, disappointing in so many ways. Hal Cousins is a scientist who seeks the favor of the super wealthy to fund his projects but things go haywire after his twin brother is murdered and his life begins to crumble around him. Ultimately the story becomes about this ancient scien [...]

    12. We follow a scientist who is investigating how bacteria might unlock the secret to eternal life. He gets on the wrong side of a conspiracy to control people's minds using bacteria to make them suggestable.Unfortunately, the scientist is quite unlikeable, almost all the other characters are completely unlikeable and/or paper thin, and the story is disjointed and dragged out. I almost put it down never to return half way through and the point of view switched to a much more likeable character, so [...]

    13. La historia es confusa, mal contada y absurda. Los personajes son poco desarrollados y poco creíbles. Básicamente se trata de un científico que quiere estudiar la prolongación de la vida pero se ve involucrado en una conspiración internacional para controlar la mente con bacterias. Por ahí aparece Stalin y una mina que contagia las bacterias controladoras de mente a través de la vagina

    14. This was an excellent book - like all of Greg Bear's. I love how it ties in 20th century history with sci-fi (or is it really fiction?). Nice pacing, good science to back up what he's writing - definitely a book that is written well and is completely believable.

    15. Very entertaining, a very fast read, as usual a lot of research and real science make the story intriguing.

    16. review of Greg Bear's Vitals by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - June 10, 2015 For the full review go here: /story/show/ As I was reading this, I thought something to the effect of: 'I shd finally give something by Bear a 5 star rating' [maybe I already have?] but, then, when I'm finished, I think NAH no matter how good it is it just doesn't tip the profound meter - although I'm sure that I've given other bks 5 star ratings that haven't either. When I came across the Vietnam vet & the FBI as her [...]

    17. I like Greg Bear's stuff. He's much more in love with biology and tech than I am, but I like how he goes off with them into new places.He makes sure there are plenty of twists and turns as he rollicks alongd there's plenty of human interaction, decent characterization and action.The single most interesting thought I picked up from this novel was this: If mankind truly finds the secrets to living much longer lives would that go down? His answer: the rich would take it for themselves, so everyone [...]

    18. I've been a fan of Bear for a while, but Quantico failed to engage me, and unfortunately Vitals left me cold about half way through. It's a conspiracy theory based around a scientist's search for immortality, as a result of modifying bacteria in the body. It starts early, with shock after shock, building credibility with Bear's usual factual and informed approach to fiction. However, midway the story starts to rotate the central character, and although this is a vehicle to accelerate the plot an [...]

    19. Unlike a couple of other Greg bear books I've read, this book just didn't keep my attention. It seemed too slow moving and after reading the first 122 pages I still wasn't quite sure where the plot was going. I decided to stop reading this book and look for another.

    20. Thank you very much, Mr. Bear, for providing a few (and more to come, I'm sure) nightmares. Here is a truly scary story, one which feels possible and is all the more scary because it takes place in the present. If you haven't read it yet, I won't go into detail (it would ruin your fun), but you should. The science, speculation, and 2nd- and 3rd-level derivatives are fascinating and credible; the characters are human (flawed, driven, fragile, flexible) and sympathetic (except for some of the most [...]

    21. "Vitals" started with an interesting premise and some promising characters. Hal and Rob cousins are twin scientists who are both engaged in trying to unlock the secret to stopping aging in humans, the key to immortality. There are a bunch of other characters, many of them alternately lucid or crackpot. The twists, turns, and thrills of the plot stem from the fact that other people are also working on detecting this secret, including some people who have worked on it for 60-70 years. The plot get [...]

    22. Better than expected. I like a few of GB's books, and he had done some research into bacteria, and he offered a plausible sounding (to me) conspiracy model. The plot, whilst openly in the arena of the barely believable, never pushed into 'that's just ridiculous' territory.His characters were decent too, the tension between brothers, the Vietnam vet, not too stereotypical.I guess I like sci-fi that's a little 'hard', and this was that. Plus it had an interesting take on early Soviet era politics. [...]

    23. I haven't given too many books three stars, but here on 3 stars equates to "I liked it" or something like that. And I did. (Like it, that is.) It was different from what I expected after reading the first several pages and the inside cover blurb, but it wasn't bad. So what separated it from the 4 and 5 star books I've read recently? Well, it was convoluted and confusing. I thought what I was reading was a rather straightforward speculative fiction novel about immortality, getting into the philo [...]

    24. Could have been good; the premise was novel and interesting, however the writing and the messiness of the book's structure let it down immeasurably.

    25. Bear has some very interesting ideas but he chooses a very poor framework of an international conspiracy thriller to support them. Clearly, Bear is out of his depth here and is unable to write a convincing thriller, although he excels at explaining cutting-edge scientific ideas in an entertaining way; but there is too little science in this novel. Bear's novel starts off promisingly with a scientist descending into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean looking for the fountain of youth among primordi [...]

    26. I don't understand why so many of the readers rated this book low, with complaints about the science. Greg Bear is meticulous about getting scientific basics correct that is one of the reasons why he's one of my favorite authors. Yes, it's kind of difficult to imagine that all life started out as bacteria, but these are accepted scientific theories. The sci fi aspects of the story take the truth one step beyond where it exists today; otherwise, we'd be reading nonfictional biological books.Vita [...]

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